The cat exam is the gateway to the coveted MBA degree in India. The exam is conducted by the Indian Institute of Management aka IIMs for entry into their prestigious MBA equivalent courses. Given the relative importance of the MBA degree in the modern day world and the growing need of managers has made this road to an IIM a dream for many aspirants.

The road to an IIM or most of the reputed B-school in India starts with the cat exam. Barring a certain number of colleges, almost every institute in India accepts Cat score for entry into the next stage i.e. GD/PI. Hence, the cat exam becomes even more important with respect to MBA in India.


The cat exam has three sections. These are

1)      Quantitative Aptitude aka General Mathematics

2)      Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation aka LRDI, charts and dimaag ka khel etc

3)      Verbal Ability of VA aka English Aptitude. Aptitude because it’s mostly an application based section without explicit formulations.

As stated in the third section of the Cat exam, English is more in applied nature than applicative i.e. it becomes a little tricky. Rather than asking Grammar rules explicitly, its application is asked by molding it into different forms.

All the sections carry equal marks (2010 info..may change in future) but that was not always the case. There have been instances of variable marks and even variable marking scheme in this decade. However, this is unlikely in the online mode of CAT as the surprise element cannot be used in the present day setup.


In the 90s and before that too, the cat exam was more of a speed based test than a logically inclined base. This fact is known to most of the students but what is not is that only 50K student gave CAT in the year 2000. That means that the number of test takers increased to as much as 600% in the next decade. Though the online format of the paper and the global recession took this number down, yet, the cat exam sees the best talent vetting it out against each other every year.

With the need to shape the modern day managers and to fulfill the requirements of companies, it was required that the manager should have sound logical and analytical reasoning abilities (we don’t know the difference between the two, so please doesn’t ask) and also be able to work under pressure situations. This belief led to a change in the paper pattern in the year 2001-2008 and is the same till date.

What this meant was that the number of questions reduced in this period but the relative difficulty level of the paper went up. These changes were brought about gradually every year but there were always surprises for aspirants in the cat exam.


It’s true that the cat exam is a get away to the MBA degree and a prospective fruitful career. But this is not just any other exam. It is a test of nerves and a battle of wits in which the best of the best survive. Not only is it a great feeling to study in an IIM but the journey itself is a reverential one. Cracking the Cat exam is matter of honor and respect, which makes it much more than just any management exam.

By | 2010-10-16T22:42:57+00:00 October 15th, 2010|CAT|0 Comments

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